A New Life for Dead Malls

Reprinted from www.citylab.com

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In case you haven’t heard, suburban malls are on the way out (sorry Paul Blart). Some have become abandoned wastelands popular for ruin porn. Others have been torn down and turned into industrial sites.

According to Ellen Dunham-Jones, an architect and professor at Georgia Tech, there are about 1,200 enclosed malls in the United States, and about one-third of them are dead or dying. That’s because developers rapidly overbuilt malls in the 20th century, she said: The U.S. has twice as much square footage in shopping centers per capita than the rest of the world, and six times as much as countries in Europe.

“The malls died for a reason,” she told me. “We were way over retailed.”

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